Malware, Spyware, Adware, whatever you want to call it. It boils down to software that invades your PC, without your knowing. Usual effects are: a slower pc experience, slow boot up, pop-ups, and in worse case scenarios: identity theft, keylogging, trojans that allow other malware in, etc..
I've had to deal with such malware quite often and have found the below list of Free applications very helpful. They are listed in no particular order and some of you may have others which should be on this list. If you do have other recommendations, I'd love to hear from you. We'll add them to the list.
FREE Malware Removal Tools
- Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
- Ad-Aware Free Anniversary Edition
- Spyware Doctor
- F-Secure BlackLight - Rootkit removal
- VirusTotal - Online file scanning some experts may want to use
- Mal-Aware - designed to remove only Smitfraud such as personal antivirus, antivirus 2010, and other fraudulent products
The free versions listed are fully functional, though not as robust as some of the full versions. I usually use a combination of the above list, which does quite a good job of cleaning out malware on infected PCs. Do be careful when you remove software though, depending on which one you use, some applications may be falsely identified and removed. This could render your application useless. It's always good to know what is identified and make a list to make sure it does not contain software that you actually want.
Those of you who do not feel comfortable with free versions may want to check out PCWorld's review of security suites.
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